web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


What is the Link between 17th of Tammuz, July 4th and Lincoln?

The USA was founded on the Fast Day of the 17th of Tammuz, July 4, 1776. On the same coincidental days in 1863, a rabbi’s sermon included a phrase that Lincoln later made famous.
Abraham Lincoln's use of the term'"four score and seven years ago' may have been borrowed from a rabbi's Fourth of July sermon

Abraham Lincoln's use of the term'"four score and seven years ago' may have been borrowed from a rabbi's Fourth of July sermon

A rabbi delivering a Shabbat sermon on the coincidental dates of the 17th of Tammuz and the Fourth of July in 1863 used the phrase “four score and seven years ago” before Abraham Lincoln made it famous, according to an historian.

British Prof. Marc Saperstein, who is a visiting professor of Judaic Studies at Yale, wrote in the Huffington Post  Wednesday that Rabbi Sabato Morais delivered his message in Philadelphia after the Battle of Gettysburg was fought but before its outcome was known.

“His sermon contains a phrase that might well have influenced the most celebrated speech in American history,” according to Prof. Saperstein.

The Fourth of July usually falls during the three-week period when Jews mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples. On an average of about once every 10 years or so, Independence Day falls on the first day of the three weeks, the Fast Day of the 17th day of Tammuz and which also was on the Sabbath in 1863.

Without knowing whether the Confederate army had won in Gettysburg , a victory that would have allowed it to threaten Philadelphia, Rabbi Morais said in his sermon that he was asked to refer to Independence Day.

However, since it was the 17th day of Tammuz, even though the fast is postponed because of the Sabbath, Rabbi Morais explained he could not deliver an encouraging address that was recommended by the Union League. It suggested that clergy quote the uplifting verse form Leviticus that is inscribe on the Liberty Bell: “”Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

Instead, the rabbi chose the lament from King Hezekiah in Isaiah, “This is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and derision,” which he also meant as a reference to the Battle of Gettysburg before knowing the Union forces had won.

Rabbi Morais made sure to refer to Independence Day, 87 years after the United States was founded. “’I am not indifferent, my dear friends, to the event, which four score and seven years ago, brought to this new world light and joy,” he said in his sermon.

The King James translation of Psalms 90:10 translates a Hebrew in the psalm as “threescore and ten.”

Prof. Saperstein  explained that when Abraham Lincoln spoke to a small group of people three days later, he said that it was “eighty odd years” since the founding of the United States.

The professor wrote,  “Needless to say, some three months later, for the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery, Abraham Lincoln elevated the level of his discourse from ‘eighty odd years’ to “four score and seven years, our fathers brought forth to this continent,” possibly borrowing from the published text by the Philadelphia Sephardic preacher who, without knowing it, may have made a lasting contribution to American rhetorical history.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “What is the Link between 17th of Tammuz, July 4th and Lincoln?”

  1. The year before, upon the death of President Lincoln's 12 year old son Willie, Rabbi Sabato Morais delivered a touching sermon of comfort, for which Lincoln thanked Congregation Mikveh Israel in a letter dated May 13, 1862.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Soldiers guard terrorists while checking his car, where they found hidden weapons.
IDF Catches Terrorist with Rifle and Pistol in His Car
Latest News Stories
facebook madness

Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms have fallen off the Internet worldwide.

Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress; Natan Grossman (Germany); Samuel Beller (US); Florence Sprung (US); Manny Buchman (US); Mascha Schainberg (South Africa); Marcel Tuchman (US); Rose Schindler (US); Jonny Pekats (US); Henry Korman (Germany); Ronald Lauder; Mordechai Ronen (Canada); Joseph Madrowitz (US); Edgar Wildfeuer (Argentina).

Fifteen Auschwitz survivors, aged 80-94, returned this morning, Monday January 26, to the infamous death camp, Auschwitz, some for the first time.

yair lapid swears

Yair Lapid has announced his Yesh Atid list for the upcoming elections….

God has not cooperated with the Boycott Israel movement.

El Al has canceled its popular 001 after-midnight flight from Ben Gurion Airport to JFK in New York because of the expected blizzard that is forecast to cripple the Northeast in the United States. Flight 027 to Newark, New Jersey will take off 11 hours late, and the flight from Newark to Tel Aviv will […]

Maybe the court will forgive the gang because one of them apologized.

Ari Ne’eman, a pioneer in autism self-advocacy, awarded the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion.

IDF soldiers were dragged to missionary evening of ‘appreciation’ for soldiers who fought in Operation Protective Edge last summer in Gaza.

As they say in Egyptian, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

French far-rightist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen suffered a facial injury.

Apple may have handed the Chinese government access to the software used in its iPhones.

Was it a toy? A test by Al Qaeda? Or maybe Amazon got the wrong address?

ISIS-linked cyber terrorists promoting a ‘Cyber Caliphate’ were busy early Monday hacking the website of Malaysia Airlines.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Maybe the court will forgive the gang because one of them apologized.

As they say in Egyptian, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Was it a toy? A test by Al Qaeda? Or maybe Amazon got the wrong address?

If US Jews were to make Aliyah at the rate the Jewish Agency expects from France, Israel would have 1 million more Jews.

The White House is passing up the opportunity for Obama’s first meeting with the new Israeli president.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/what-is-the-link-between-17th-of-tammuz-july-4th-and-lincoln/2013/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: